CLEVELAND – November 16 marks the Great American Smokeout, where people are encouraged to quit smoking.
And while tobacco use remains a big concern, vaping continues to pose a risk – especially for teens.
A recent study found more young e-cigarette users vape within five minutes of waking up.
“The amount of nicotine in a vaping device can be very high, and people may not realize this because the device can be very small,” explained Humberto Choi, MD, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic. “One small vaping device can contain as much nicotine as a full pack of cigarettes. In some cases, even more.”
Dr. Choi said many teens still choose to vape, and a nicotine addiction can affect their brain development.
When it comes to the lungs, vaping can cause inflammation and irritation, which can lead to lung damage. It can also make asthma or any other existing lung problems worse.
Dr. Choi said the e-liquid, or vape juice, people are inhaling may contain cancer-causing chemicals and other substances linked to lung and heart disease.
The long-term health impacts of vaping are still being studied.
“We don’t yet fully understand the long-term effects of vaping. For example, if someone would develop cancer, a chronic lung disease or heart disease from vaping,” Dr. Choi said. “Those are health issues someone can experience after years of smoking cigarettes, but it’s still unclear when it comes to vaping and e-cigarettes.”
According to Dr. Choi, statistics show teens are heavily exposed to vaping, especially in school.
He recommends parents openly discuss the potential consequences of vaping with their children.